Yellow-legged Gull - Larus michahellis

(last update: October 08 2013)

Delfín González
Gabriel Martín
Antonio Gutierrez
Amir Ben Dov
Mars Muusse

Yellow-legged Gull michahellis 2CY, April 19 2002, Etaples, NW France (50.42N,1.34E).

The tertials are still juvenile. The inner 2 greater coverts were included in the post-juvenile moult last autumn. They are clearly different from all the other greater coverts which are still juvenile. Note that the white fringes on the tips are worn away. Median coverts #1-7 were moulted as well and in the lower lesser row, #1-3, #5 were replaced. Six lesser coverts show a bold arrow-headed pattern on the tip; these feathers were included in the post-juvenile moult too. 
Most of the scapulars are old brown second generation feathers (or with bleached centres and appear almost white based) with the anchor pattern reduced to a single shaft streak. The rear lower scapulars show an obvious arrow-head pattern in the centre. Six scapulars are replaced for grey third generation feathers, while in the lowest row of lower scapulars the last feather is moulted to second generation.

Note that the base of the bill turns paler and the orbital ring becomes slightly more red in spring 2CY birds.